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Techniques to improve your productivity: 1

21 October 2019

Talking at the yearly Paraplanners Powwow, Aleksandra Sasin, founder of Navigatus and Jackie Manning of Tilney shared some of the techniques they have discovered and use to improve the way they work and to get things done in the working day.

Over the course of this week we are publishing some of the ideas from the session.

1. The pomodoro technique

In a working day, it can be all too easy to focus on doing the easy tasks on a to-do list and by the end of the day you’ve accomplished 10 easy ones but the big task is still hanging over you.

This technique was described as “a really good way of making you do something you don’t want to do.”

In particular, it was seen as a good way of tackling a big task in manageable bite-sized chunks.

Simply described, the technique is to pick a task, clear away any distractions and then set a timer for 25 minutes. You then focus solely on that task for 25 minutes. This is followed by a 5-minute break before repeating either the same task or starting a fresh one.

One Paraplanner said that a downside to the technique was that 25 minutes wasn’t enough to focus on the one paraplanning task.

It was suggested that using the technique to get started on the task was key. It might be that the length of time set would be different per task. The 25 minutes happened to be the length of time the originator of the technique found he could concentrate on his studies as a student.

Jackie said she had found this technique was useful for working on difficult tasks as it did make you clear distractions and focus purely on that one task, in particular tackling big reports, cases and complicated calculations.

The 5-minute break means you can fully focus on the task knowing you’ve got a break at the time frame.

Aleks said: “Psychologically all you are committing to is 25 minutes of that task but it’s the act of getting it going that is useful. Then if you’re in the swing you can keep on going if you like.

“It’s a great way to stop you procrastinating.”

The annual Powwow is held under Chatham House rules – which allow for reporting of what was said but not who said it. Those mentioned directly in this piece have given their permission for their name to be used.

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